Self-Publishing: Common Scams to Avoid

Are you an author who has decided to go the self-publishing route? If you have received numerous rejection letters from publishing companies, but you still believe that you have a sellable book, you may be. Self-publishers also like the freedom and control that they have.

As nice as self-publishing is for many authors, it is still important to proceed with caution. Did you know that there are a number of self-publishing scams out there? There are and these are scams that you will want to avoid.

If you are self-publishing a book, you should not be required to sign any contracts. What you will want to do is search for a printing company that will turn your words into a real book. You do not need to sign any contracts or agree to give away your work for this to be done. Often times, all you need to do is agree to pay the already agreed upon fee. If you are sent a contract, chances you are dealing with a vanity publisher, as opposed to a printing company.

Whether you examine vanity publishers or a printing company, be cautious of any recommendations that you receive. For example, if an individual in your travels says “I know of a great designer who can design an amazing cover for your book,” proceed with caution. Of course, the individual or company in question is more than worth the look, but you should know that many companies do not recommend others out of the goodness of their hearts. Many do so because they receive a percentage of each sale made by working as an affiliate.

Even if you make the decision to self-publish a book, there is still a good chance that you will turn to other experts. You may be interested in hiring the services of a professional editor or a designer to make your book cover. When hiring a designer, give them an outline of your book or your expectations, but never hand over your completed work. A designer does not need this. If they ask for it, they may have bad intentions.

As for hiring the services of a professional editor, know who you are working with at all times. Do the proper amount of research first. You can honestly never tell if an editor actually reads your books and make changes. Be leery of anyone who says “everything looks good to me,” and then hands you a bill. It is also important to remember that when you hire an editor, you essentially hand them everything that you have worked on for the past year or months. Make sure you hire a trusted editor who will not run with your work and then later claim it as their own.

In keeping with hiring assistance, one of the downsides to self-publishing is that you, as the author, are responsible for selling your book. This is something that many authors do not have the time and experience to do. That is why outside help is often used. If you do use help, choose a different person. Do not let the same company publish your book and then sell it. This is often a sign of a scam. Instead, hire a marketing specialist who can help you develop and market your own website where your book can be offered for sale. Or, approach local retailers, like your local bookstores, to see if they can carry your book.

Although there are a number of scams associated with self-publishing, it is a great way to get a book published. Just be sure to use your best judgment.

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